CUBS Corner News
Blocked for Winter Words...
OK, I know this is hard to believe but I am lost for words for this winter newsletter....shocked, right??? This must be at least the fifth attempt I have made to write my January/February newsletter, which is now my February/March newsletter. It's been such a long and strange January with these weekly snowstorms, things change by the day! Do you ever remember a winter as intense as this - it seems as though right around March we are always talking as to whether we will use 2 or 3 snow days, which we then would have to make up. But seriously, 4 days already and as I type this (AGAIN!) we are awaiting a "Blockbuster" of a storm a day from now! Well, I keep saying I will have a lot of company toward the end of June - but I bet not very happy campers!
Well, enough of all of that - things here at the Early Childhood Center are going well. In the past two weeks we have welcomed 6 new children to our program. Our program continues to grow in a very positive direction. The classrooms have all been very busy working on their winter themes (hmmmmm, maybe they are responsible for all of this white stuff!!). Many classes start their day filling their fill tables with pure white snow from the outside. In past years we have purchased a product called "Insta-Snow" and honestly, I was perfectly happy with that white stuff!! But no, now we have to deal with the real deal! Unfortunately, the children have only been able to play outside on one occasion so far. The wind chill and the temperatures are just too cold for our little ones. Hopefully February will bring warmer temperatures and then everyone can go out and run around in the snow and build more snowpeople! In the meantime, I was thinking of some fun things you can do with your children and with all of this white stuff:
- Pails/Shovels: Remember when you could go to the beach on a warm sunny day (hmmmm - I'm trying to remember those days!) - well you would bring pails, shovels and special buckets that look like castles? Well, you can use all of those same things and go outside and play in the snow - build snow castles and other fun things. Have your children scoop up the snow with their summer shovels and fill their pails. You know the rest - whoever said those were just for summer???
- Indoor Snow Bucket: No, of course I am not crazy! Take a Rubbermaid bucket of any size and fill it with snow (or fill some of it). Then the fun begins - use spoons, cooking utensils, measuring cups, plastic animals or people, and just let your children play in it. Let them use their own imagination!
- Snow cookies: Well...sort of! Bring some snow in the house in a smaller bucket than above. Pretend you are making snow cookies with your children. Pretend to measure, pour, sift, etc. and then use cookie cutters to form the cookies. Cookie cutters can be letters, numbers, animals, people, and of course lend themselves to wonderful learning experiences.
- Snow Painting: Take a few spray bottles and use food coloring and water. Go outside and paint the snow beautiful colors (maybe it will make everyone feel better if they don't just see white everywhere - lol). What a beautifully colored yard you would have!!!
- "Teaching" Snowpeople: Wow - you can work on so much just by building a snowman or snowperson. Think of the sequence you go through dressing up the snowperson. Talk to your children about the different parts of a snowman. Then talk about what you can use to add these parts to your snowman. Once you have everything ready, go outside and begin by sequencing the three snowballs. Great opportunity to work on sizes. Once you have it together, you can begin by working on body parts (well the parts to the snowman at least) and clothing items for it. Again you can work on sequencing the order in which you put your snowperson together. Use this whole opportunity for labeling, asking wh- questions, turn taking, sequencing, colors, shapes, counting, etc. So much you can do.
- Counting: Bring some numbers outside (such as cookie cutters, plastic playdough molds, etc.). Play a numbers game where you can have your child pick a number and make that many snowballs. Good opportunity for rolling, pressing, etc. Strengthen those hands - makes for better fine motor later when paper/pencil tasks are more important! Also practice the one to one correspondence with your child's counting to the objects they are counting.
- Inside Snowpeople: One of my favorite winter stories is Snowballs by Lois Ehlert. I just love the photos and the story. So, if you happen to have this book or borrow it from the library (or actually even if you do not), you can have your child make a beautiful snow family. Just have some white construction paper circles available and lots of collage like materials. Also be sure to have either a larger piece of cardboard or construction paper for the snow person or people to be created upon. Talk about what snowmen look like and what yours could look like. You can talk about families and the different people in your family. Eventually you can have your child create a family of snow people or just one, using the circles and then the collage materials (to make the faces, clothes, body parts, etc.). The collage materials can be safe materials such as cereals, felt material, buttons if supervised, and anything else that is safe and around your house. It's a cute and creative idea you can do with other members of your family as well - each child can create his/her own snow person.
OK, so now do think you might like the white stuff just a little bit more??? You probably do so many good and creative things with your children - these are just a few odds and ends I can think of here late in the day!
We do have a few odds and ends and then questions that have come up since the last newsletter - I'll see if I can clarify them below:
Do parents of Preschool CUBS need to attend Kindergarten Registration night?: The answer to this would be YES, all parents should attend. This is a very informative night in which many of your questions will be answered. You also will need to officially register your children on this night. However, we will transfer all of your children's records including proof of residency and birth certificate over to the receiving schools.
If my child has another year of Preschool CUBS, when will I sign up and confirm? Funny you should ask because you are being asked to do this in this week's weekly e-mail attachment from me - just fill out the form and return it with your security deposit and you will be set!
Do siblings of current Preschool CUBS get priority placement for the 2011-12 school year? No, you must sign up siblings to get them on our waiting list. These days, the earlier the better!
Will the tuition for the 2011-12 school year remain the same as this year?: We do not know this at this time. Every year this is reviewed by administrators and school committee. We will keep you posted!
Will all of these snow days be made up at the end of the year? Yes, the school system has built in 5 extra days for snow days and then from there administrators will determine how to make up the days.
Has Marylou grown to like winter yet?: NO- how's that for a short and sweet answer!
Now for some of the important dates to mark on those electronic calendars:
Wed., February 9th 1/2 Day/Early Dismissal (No PM) Professional Dev. Day for Staff
February 21-25th Winter Vacation No School All Week
Tuesday, March 1st Kindergarten Registration 6:30 - 8:00 p.m./NAMS
Wed., March 9th 1/2 Day/Early Dismissal (No PM) Professional Dev. Day for Staff
Just a few little "Did You Know's"?
- Did you know that we enroll children throughout our school year? As we get openings we fill them!
- Did you know that we evaluate preschool children who parents, private preschools, doctors, etc. have concerns about?
- Did you know that we try to tie into the kindergarten curriculum whenever possible?
- Did you know that our Preschool CUBS program is now 21 years old!!!
- Did you know that some of the oldest Preschool CUBS graduates are now graduated from college, (and no, we didn't age w/those kids!!!)?
- Did you know that our program used to be located at the N.A. High School, Bradstreet School, Franklin School and Sargent School??
- Did you know that we think we have THE best job in the school system and we LOVE your children very much!!!!!
Well, it's getting late and I finally have finished this newsletter for the month of February! Please remember to stay safe and enjoy this white stuff (and yes, I continue to think it is just beautiful, as long as I don't have to drive in it!!). I guess at this rate, we'll see your children again in the spring!!!!
Director/N.A. Early Childhood Center